Seeds on Stony Ground

The one about the dragon…

The one that’s Hamlet set in UCC…

The one that’s about the wizard who inherits a kingdom…

The one about the archaeologist who finds an alternate history…

The one about the sweep who finds faerieland up the chimney…

The one about the dungeon…

I’m in the early stages of writing something new, which means writing a bunch of false starts and seeing which one of them works. Some get abandoned because I can’t write it yet – one of the ideas above needs me to put in the research first, so it works in context. Others I haven’t found the right voice or pacing yet – even if the idea is a viable one, the approach is wrong. Still others are just too small to sustain a novel. They’re mislabelled short stories, or adventures, or just frail notions that can’t carry anything.

Once, I’d have worried about this stage. It’s not that writing beginnings is easy – it takes effort to break that white page – but it’s very easy to get trapped here. Once you get past that first page, any idea – even an unviable one – can run for a few thousand words. I could easily spend months here, writing lots of things that amount to nothing.

I spent years here, before.

The Gutter Prayer started as a seed like those; abandoned after the first few thousand words. I only returned to it under duress, and the second time it grew.

Soon, I’ll pick one of these seeds and nurture it, and grow it, and do the hard work of shovelling shit words at it until it blooms.


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